The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

November 16, 2007


In a continuing testament to our highly advanced Enterpainment Tonight society, super-developed evolution and values, we refer you to this story, which you've probably already read by now or at least heard about.

Dateline Los Angeles, the land of La-La Levity, three-month marriages and what have you.

The subject? Not Britney Spears. No way O.J. Tom Cruise is not the answer either. It's not about any of THOSE particular nutcases that fascinate us and are exposed to us by the media.

No, today's revolting personality is Lindsay Lohan and her spending less than one hour in jail in what appears to be just another photo opportunity to sell yet more advertising; to fill our dulled souls with nothingness.

It's destined to be the lead story, potentially, on what for millions seems to have become the real suppertime news: Entertainment Tonight or its copy-cat, mindless impersonators.

To be put up to public ridicule, where she can be laughed at, swallowed whole, digested like some little dysfunctional soundbyte...

...A movie star, a beautifully attractive woman with a whole bunch of problems, thrown into the lion's den to be gawked at, jeered, pitied, admired, I don't know.

Or whatever you feel about her or any of these other "beautiful people" who are really little more than and adored versions of the tallest or fattest or shortest people in the world from those freak shows of days past.

But what does our fascination with them say about us?

What are the motivations we have for watching and caring, and for the media to want to make us care and watch while these human trainwrecks run amok and fall off the rails and crash and burn and explode and implode?

Is it all for our amusement, some shallow, base thing inside of us that makes us like to see other people suffering or doing stupid, ugly things so that we don't have to focus on our own muddled, blurred existences?

Should we ask ourselves why we would even want or need to focus on someone else's stupidity or inability to cope with being too rich or famous?

Is it to try to get us to concentrate on the lives of public figures like Lindsay Lohan so we don't have to even think about what's really happening to our own lives as a result of the actions all around us and what we might be pretending isn't happening?

Is this kind of drivel shown to us because we've demanded to see it and the media is just meeting our hunger for the bizarre and bone-headed, or are we lapping up the only sustenance they're offering us, with some ulterior motive?

As in, diverting us from wars we shouldn't be in, the War on Terror governments aren't dealing with in our own societies (let alone those from other peoples), the military industrial complex, high taxes, poverty, lax gun laws, etc.

Why are we given all this pap that, in large part, that seems to be intended to get us to focus on the big loser? As in reality shows that embarrass people, where a bunch of obese people compete to see who can (or can't) lose the most weight?

Who's as smart as a fifth-grader? Who CAN'T sing or dance and then gets insulted by the judges? Why would we tune into a bunch of has-been actors/singers all living together with their lip rings, plastic boobs and totally washed out careers?
What is it about us that we'll tune into such crap where they present people for what appears to be little more than failure and ridicule?

Is it because we want and need to see people fail and look stupid? They call these "reality" shows. Is that because we all feel we're failing and helpless, and so we need to see other people fail on a bigger scale, to somehow make us feel we're not doing so badly?

Why is Dr. Phil so popular? He focuses on solving problems that a lot of people encounter. He's our psychologist for the masses, like some TV god sent down from above to administer free counselling for a society gone crazy.

Is being dysfunctional cool? Or is watching dysfunctional people be dysfunctional some sort of reassurance that we can't be as dysfunctional as them?

Is not being able to cope -- as Lindsay Lohan has shown she can't -- some reflection of who we are and where we're at, a message that if she can screw up with all that money, fame and beauty, then it's OK for us to be that way too?


  1. Lindsay Lohan is just a Thing.I really don't know what all those cruddy shows say about us. I can only assume that it means that we're not on very good terms with whoever we might share our house with - that we would rather watch this stuff than communicate with otheres.Or that people are so afraid of becoming bored that they must fill every waking moment with such entertainment. I must have a cruel streak as I do enjoy watching the Australian Idol hopefuls making idiots of themselves :).

  2. I mean "others" :).

  3. It's a complex thing... in a way it's a mating thing - we are drawn to and attracted to those people we perceive to be successful, and these days celebs meet the bill. So we hang upon their every word and action, hoping to be the one to bring that person's successful attributes into the next generation. And then there's the competitor aspect - we all love to see these people fail, because it means we're one more step up the ladder. If somebody so successful has made such a mess of it all, doesn't that make me so much better by comparison? Hence, somebody will want to bring MY successful attributes into the next generation. (That's a subtle way of saying I'm going to get laid.) Everything comes down to sex!

  4. She screwing up her life does not mean we should.

    Too much of anything is bad. I got too much of "nothing."


  5. We evolved in clans of 30 to 150 people and eventually graduated to villages and now cities. Our Brain and accompanying software have NOT had a chance to develop fast enough to manage anything more than our original 30-150 relationships.

    Now that we live in cities we exist in isolation amidst thousands of others..we don't have the programming to do we fill in the blanks by collectively adopting celeb-Britneys as a weird way to connect us. I may not know you from Adam but we all know (insert famous person here)and voila we have something in common..and that somehow creates an artificial sense of intimacy that over-rides our natural distrust and fear of others that we are forced to live alongside...sports is the same thingamabob...entertainment is the glue.

  6. Lee:

    I'm not so sure she's just a Thing. Maybe she's actually a great person with a lot of intelligence and because she's got cameras in her face all the time, she puts on this other persona.

    Or maybe the whole fame and adoration thing just makes people that way.

    In any event, the main question is, why do we care one way or the other? If we didn't care, we wouldn't watch. And if we didn't watch, they wouldn't put this crap on, because they WANT AND NEED US TO WATCH.

    I just don't really get it, which is why this post is full of questions rather than my own personal answers.


    OK, girl, I follow...but why are we attracted to these people or why do we think they're successful and how do they possibly fill the bill?

    I think the competitor aspect sounds more true, but I also think there's something deeper...

    That it's all just a diversion from the crap that's otherwise going on that our governments aren't dealing with or are mishandling, and by feeding us this crap, they're drawing attention away from their own inability to fix things or, in a more sinister way, to do things right in front of our eyes they know are wrong...but we're so transfixed by this other crap and our brain cells are so fried by it, we don't see what's going on.


    I'm not saying we should try to be like her or these other freaks, although that's a potential bad side effect, I guess.

    Why do we want to watch these disasters on the tube? That's my main question.

    You got too much of if I understand correctly, that's a good thing...

  7. Homer Escapeons:

    OK, interesting...there's some neat theories coming out here, and yours is one of them.

    I get what you're saying, I think...but let me add a twist that maybe adds to my own thoughts.

    What about the idea that we all go home to our nice little abodes every night -- and dutifully turn on the TV (Ever see the movie Pleasantville?)

    What will we be able to see on that TV and more importantly, what will we actually watch?

    Will we watch the news that 20 more American soldiers have been killed in Iraq or that Iran now has built a nuclear bomb, and that another hormonal high school kid has shot up 10 kids at school because he had 20 guns in his basement, all bought legally?

    Or will we watch Entertainment Tonight and the Lindsay Lohan story and then follow it up by watching a bunch of obese people competing trying to lose weight or the Bachelor or some stupid thing?

    We all want to be happy. We don't want to be reminded of what's actually happening in the world when we can focus on something else that makes us laugh or shake our heads and tell ourselves how stupid that all is and, as Stace suggested, make us feel good about ourselves.

    And the governments and big corporations and media moguls, who are all basically one in the same and want us to buy and be mindless idiots, are sitting round their big oak tables in board meetings making all this happen.

    I wonder if this TV stuff isn't just our happy pill to numb us to what's really going on.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

  8. Of course it is all planned. Advertising Agencies have been using Psychologists & Sociologists for over half a Century.

    They know exactly what triggers our buttons. Since we have no way of processing the enormity of how BAD things really are we cocoon.
    Some people fill their heads with reality TV and some play Warcrack for 18 consequtive hours. The cumulative effect is the same.

    Keep us off kilter and on our heels with a barrage of horrible NEWS so that we will 'turtle', sedate ourselves with whatever works and purchase creature comforts.

    It's worked for 3 generations why would they stop now?

  9. Your blog and HE's blog are like havens to me. Every time I open them up it's like a breath of fresh air or a splash of cold water. I've been known to just leave my browser open at one or the other of them just to feel nice. Thanks!

  10. HE:

    I DO think it's premeditated and supported by biz and governments to put us all into a trance.


    I would NEVER splash you with cold water! Haven or heaven? Or both? Ha!!! Thanks, Stace.

    Glad we Loserpeggers can make you feel nice.

  11. bucking frilliant post dude!
    i have come to loathe reality tv shows and the people who put themselves on those shows...


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